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Wike, APC disagree over neighbourhood watch


Nyesom Wike

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike has raised the alarm over a ploy by some opposition politicians to set up illegal vigilance groups to clash with the State Neighbourhood Watch. He alleged the move was aimed at ensuring that the Nigeria Police ban the new security outfit.

But the All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged the Federal Government to prevail on Wike not to sign the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Bill as passed by the state House of Assembly on February 15, 2018 as it violates the exclusivity of firearms to the Federal Government.

APC chairman Davies Ikanya, said it was imperative to stop Wike from signing the bill because it authorises the Neighbourhood Watch to carry arms, enter, search and arrest citizens without warrant.

Wike told the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone Six Calabar, Usman Abubakar, who visited Government House, Port Harcourt yesterday that the Neighbourhood Watch was strictly a security outfit that would support security agencies with intelligence to enhance security in the state.

The governor said the Neighbourhood Watch was fashioned in line with the Lagos State security agency, adding that the outfit had come to stay and only a court of competent jurisdiction could stop its operations.

While explaining that the government had acquired six gunboats for the state police command to help it fight criminals on the waterways, he cautioned against the politicisation of security operations, as such actions could be detrimental to the country’s stability.

He, therefore, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the police to work towards the successful conduct of the 2019 general elections, adding that the police should not be used to arrest members of the opposition ahead of the poll.

Responding, Abubakar said the command was fashioning out ways to reduce cultism, kidnapping and violent crimes in the zone.He appealed to stakeholders to work with the police to reduce crime ahead of the 2019 general election and urged all groups to come to a roundtable to work for peace, as the police would not tolerate lawlessness.

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Nyesom Wike
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